Patrick Blomquist has seen plenty of requests in his time at Minitex, which stretches back to 1999. Patrick is currently the functional lead for Alma Borrowing, though has his hands in many roles with Minitex and is known around the office for his Wiscat expertise due to his lengthy experience with the platform.
Patrick is originally from New Ulm, Minnesota and has spent his whole life in the state (outside of popping out for trips). His entire library career - sans a short volunteer stint - has been at Minitex. His career has touched parts of four decades and multiple office relocations! We'll let Patrick tell you a little bit more about himself.
What is one of the more impactful changes you've seen in Resource Sharing during your career at Minitex?
Being involved in two office relocations (from Wilson sub-basement to Andersen Library in late 1999, then back to the Wilson basement in Summer 2017) was certainly impactful, to say the least. Another big shift was the advent of Mira (2015?), and all the changes and improvements that have followed on from that. No more color-coded requests and paper cutter workouts.
Are there any former roles or responsibilities you had at Minitex that don't exist now?
My initial position at Minitex was in the MULS (Minitex Union List of Serials) unit, one of the first major programs of Minitex, begun in 1978. It was an aid in locating serial titles throughout the Minitex region, and went through many format and technology changes in its time. I worked in the MULS unit from mid-1999 to mid-2001, before transferring over to Resource Sharing (then Document Delivery). MULS was phased out in 2011, but one positive takeaway is that I'm still good friends with former Minitex/MULS employee Dave Linton, my first boss at Minitex.
What do you enjoy most about your work at Minitex?
Maybe it's an obvious response, but I would have to say my co-workers. I've known lots of them for many years, and they've been consistently helpful, patient, and good-spirited. I've also been fortunate to have Raquel Franklin as my long-term supervisor.
What items stick out as some of the more popular requests in all your time working on the Wiscat borrowing side?
Can somebody explain to me the ongoing fascination with the "Chucky" horror movies? I'm baffled. Other perennially popular items might include music from Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, the "Have a Nice Day" 70s music series, and that one heavy metal boxed set (always checked out). DVDs like the old 60's Avengers, "Caligula", "Problem Child", and the 47 spin-offs of Star Trek are chronically popping up.
As a lifelong Minnesotan - do you have any particular favorite spots in the state to get away to?
I'm sentimentally partial to some places around my hometown of New Ulm: Flandrau State Park, Lake Hanska, Carl's Corner restaurant in Essig, and various spots along the Minnesota River. Further afield, I'd list Duluth/Park Point, Pelican Lake (near Brainerd), Pequot Lakes, plus the entire southeast part of Minnesota, which includes the "Driftless" area and places like Red Wing, Frontenac State Park, and Lanesboro.
Dream vacation or experience that tops your bucket list?
Other than the motion sickness, claustrophobia, and fear of heights, I'm an excellent flyer. If I could be heavily sedated on the journey, I suppose a trip to Greece would be fantastic, since I'm fascinated with ancient history. New Zealand and Australia sound terrific, too. Domestically, I've never been to The Deep South, so Memphis, New Orleans, Asheville, and Savannah would be fun. I love a Civil War battlefield.
What music do you enjoy and what have you been jamming to lately?
I love all the jangly 80s bands: U2, REM, The Smiths, The Police, XTC. Others would include Andrew Bird, Gillian Welch, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, and Richard Thompson.